No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
This easy no-bake chocolate cheesecake recipe is made in just 15 minutes! Light & airy, yet so chocolate-y, rich, and decadent!
Summer is here and the weather is hazy, hot, and humid!
You know when it’s like this I’m all about the no-bake desserts!
So today I’m so excited to be sharing a new one: No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake.
There are quite a few cheesecake recipes on this site: Oreo cheesecake, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, red velvet cheesecake… just to name a few! They’re all seriously fantastic, but they do involve baking.
How about we keep our ovens off and our kitchens cool!
With this recipe there is exactly zero baking involved!
So not only will you stay cool, but you’ll have the most deliciously airy, light, yet rich and decadent chocolate cheesecake ever.
Best of all, the recipe can be made in as little as 15 minutes!
Table of Contents
- What’s great about this recipe
- What does no-bake chocolate cheesecake taste like?
- No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients
- Special equipment
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- How to store
- A few more of my favorite cheesecake recipes
What’s great about this recipe
- Tastes amazing: If you’re a fan of chocolate, you will love this no-bake chocolate cheesecake! The intense chocolate flavor is like a chocolate punch in the face (in a good way!).
- Gorgeous texture: The filling is whipped, so it’s almost mousse-like. So whisper-light it melts in your mouth.
- Few ingredients: There are only a handful of basic pantry staples needed to make this killer dessert!
- Easy to make: The recipe process is so super-simple, it comes together in just 15 minutes flat.
- Adaptable: You can add in or swap out the ingredients to your own personal taste, creating a cheesecake that’s uniquely you!
What does no-bake chocolate cheesecake taste like?
The flavor here is all about the chocolate. It’s so deeply chocolate-y!
You get that unique, unmistakable Dutch cocoa flavor of the Oreo cookie crust, plus the incredibly creamy, rich chocolate of the cheesecake filling, with the slightest bit of tanginess from the cream cheese.
I also added a glossy chocolate glaze on top, which is completely optional. But it brings an even more intense hit of dark chocolate flavor.
Chocolate lovers, this no bake chocolate cheesecake is the recipe for you!
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients
You’ll only need a handful of basic ingredients to make this chocolate no-bake cheesecake.
I used regular Oreos! These provide a crunchy cookie base that the filling can sit atop.
You do not have to remove the creme filling to make this crust.
There’s lots more info on how to make an Oreo crust here: Oreo Pie Crust.
Add melted butter to the cookie crumbs to help them hold together as a crust.
I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
Cream cheese is the basis of the filling. It’s rich and creamy and so delicious!
This recipe works best if you use cold cream cheese, straight from the fridge.
Look for the kind that comes in a brick. The kind in a tub could make for a runny filling.
And make sure it’s full-fat! You need the fat for things to whip up nice and stiff.
In this recipe, sugar provides sweetness and nothing more. So if you like a sweeter cheesecake, feel free to add more. Or if you prefer things less sweet, go ahead and cut back. It won’t have a significant effect on the chemistry of the recipe.
I recommend using powdered sugar because it melts into the other ingredients so effortlessly, creating a really smooth, velvety texture.
I also feel like powdered sugar adds a little more structure than granulated sugar does. Perhaps it’s because of the small amount of cornstarch it often contains.
I like to use regular unsweetened cocoa here. It’s got the strongest chocolate flavor because it’s basically just cocoa solids, nothing else.
If you like the taste of Dutched cocoa powder, you could use that here instead. It will yield a much darker color.
Heavy whipping cream allows for a whipped, airy texture and adds a rich flavor. There are certain flavor compounds that are only carried by fats, so higher fat foods like cream will really intensify the flavors of everything you make.
Make sure you’re buying “heavy cream,” “whipping cream,” or “heavy whipping cream” for this recipe. They are all different labels that mean the same thing. If you are outside of the US, it could also go by the name “double cream.”
Light cream won’t work for this recipe. Neither will half and half or milk. You need the high fat content in order for it to whip up stiff enough to hold a stiff peak.
Melted chocolate adds flavor and structure. Once it’s chilled it firms up, allowing the cheesecake to stand up nice and tall.
It’s best to use baking bars rather than chips. Chips often contain an additive to help them hold their shape. This additive can make it difficult for them to melt smoothly.
Vanilla extract rounds out the flavors, lending a warm sweetness that really brings out the best in chocolate.
This one is completely optional!
But I love the smooth, glossy look of chocolate glaze on top, and those drips around the sides are so enticing!
It only takes a couple of minutes to make and it’s got just 4 ingredients. You can learn all about how to make it here: Chocolate Glaze.
You probably already have most of the kitchen tools needed to make this no-bake chocolate cheesecake:
- Springform pan: A 9 or 10-inch cake pan with removable sides (a smaller pan will yield a taller cheesecake).
- Food processor: To make the cookie crust, or you can just bash the cookies in a plastic bag.
- Electric mixer: Either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer will work.
- Large mixing bowl: To whip the filling in.
- Measuring cups & spoons: For measuring the ingredients
- Silicone spatula: For scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
How to make this no-bake chocolate cheesecake recipe
This dessert is made in just 4 simple steps. Three if you skip the glaze!
Step 1: Make the crust.
Place the cookies in the bowl of your food processor, along with the melted butter.
Pulse everything together until the cookies are finely ground, and transfer the mixture to a greased springform pan.
Then just spread it out into an even layer, pressing firmly to compact the mixture. I like to use the flat bottom of a measuring cup for this step!
That’s it for the base! Set the crust aside while you get going on the filling.
Step 2: Make the filling
Pop the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
Starting off slow but gradually increasing the speed, beat these ingredients together until completely smooth.
Then scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. This step is really important so you don’t get lumps!
With the mixer continuing to stir on medium-low speed, add the cold cream in a very slow and steady stream. Stop every so often to scrape the bowl.
Thick cream cheese will want to cling to the sides and you want to make sure that all gets blended in smooth.
Once all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed and whip the filling until it can hold stiff peaks.
Next, pour in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
It’s best if the chocolate is melted but cooled slightly. If it’s too hot, it will create little “chocolate chips” when it’s whipped into the cold cream mixture.
Step 3: Chill
Layer the filling over the crust.
And smooth it out with your spatula.
Slip it into the fridge and allow it to chill and set up.
Step 4: Glaze
At this point your no-bake chocolate cheesecake is pretty much done. Pretty simple, right?
But if you really want to gild the lily, drizzle it with chocolate glaze.
It’s as easy as breaking up a chocolate bar and drowning it in hot cream. Then you just whisk in a little corn syrup to make it shine, and a few drops of vanilla to bring out the flavors.
Once the cheesecake is chilled through and plenty set, carefully remove the sides of the pan and pour the glaze over.
You might like to use a small offset spatula to work the glaze all the way out to the edges.
How to serve chocolate no-bake cheesecake
It’s best to serve this no-bake chocolate cheesecake cold from the fridge. This way it will keep its shape and slice cleanly.
It’s ok to leave it out at room temperature for an hour or so, but if it gets very warm it tends to slump.
For beautifully clean slices, heat the blade of your knife under hot running water. Then wipe it dry with a towel and make the first cut. Once again, run it under hot water, removing any filling or crumbs that may be clinging on. Then make the next cut, etc.
Keep it cold
To ensure that your filling whips up nice and stiff, it’s best to keep everything cold. The cream cheese and the heavy cream should be cold, straight from the fridge.
You can also chill the bowl and the whisk attachment to your mixer.
The calories are worth it
Don’t skimp on that fat content!
Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese and heavy whipping cream. The higher fat is needed for things to whip up properly.
If you use low-fat cream cheese or light cream for example, the filling may not whip up properly.
Make it your own
Get creative with the crust or the filling!
Frequently asked questions
Is this gluten-free?
The filling and glaze are gluten-free, but the crust does contain gluten.
For a completely gluten-free no-bake chocolate cheesecake, use gluten-free cookies in the crust. They can be purchased here: Gluten-Free Oreos.
Is this dairy-free?
This is not dairy-free and it’s not vegan either, but it is egg-free.
I’m not sure I would recommend a dairy-free no-bake chocolate cheesecake or vegan no-bake chocolate cheesecake, just because the dairy plays such a big part in this dessert.
But if you’d like to experiment, go ahead and sub in your favorite plant-based cream cheese substitute and heavy cream substitute. And don’t forget to use dairy-free chocolate! I’d love to hear about the results in the comments section below.
What is the serving size?
The nutritional info included in the recipe card below is for one slice, assuming you cut the cheesecake into 12 equal portions.
Can this be made ahead?
I would definitely recommend making this recipe at least 2 hours ahead, if not longer!
It’s best when served cold. Keeping it cold will help it to hold its shape.
It should be chilled for at least 2 hours before you plan to serve it, but honestly, I usually leave it in the fridge overnight.
How to store
This no-bake chocolate cheesecake can be left at room temperature for an hour or so, but any longer than that and it should be stashed in the fridge.
If it gets too warm, it will start to lose its beautiful shape.
Any leftovers should keep, wrapped tightly and chilled for a week or so.
Keeping it in the freezer may be questionable. Sometimes dairy can act funny when it goes through the freeze/thaw process, and become grainy or separate.
A few more of my favorite cheesecake recipes
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No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
For the Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 24 (288 g) Oreo cookies
- 5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
For the Garnish (optional)
- 1 batch (315 g) chocolate glaze, (optional garnish)
To Make the Chocolate Cookie Crust
To Make the No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
- Whisk in the cream on medium-low speed, about 1/4 cup at a time, stopping frequently to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
- When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed and whip the filling until it can hold stiff peaks.
- Fold in the melted, cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract, and layer the mixture over the Oreo cookie crust, smoothing it into an even layer.
- Chill until set (approx. 2 hours or overnight).
To garnish (optional)
- Pour chocolate glaze over the chilled cheesecake, allowing it to drip over the sides.